Fishing Regulations in Yellowstone National Park
Learn about fishing regulations, fees, season and general information. Watch the video about fishing in the park.
In the Native Trout Conservation Area, anglers must catch and release all native species, but can keep up to five non-native fish of any size per day. All lake trout in Yellowstone Lake must be killed. There is no possession limit on lake trout caught in Heart Lake.
In the Wild Trout Enhancement Area, anglers will again be required to catch and release all native species. Within this area, brown and rainbow trout are also fully protected by catch and release regulations. Anglers may keep up to 5 brook or lake trout per day in this area. There are some exceptions to these rules in Lewis and Shoshone Lakes and associated streams above the Lewis River and Lewis Falls areas.
“These changes are aimed at enhancing the involvement of the angling community in the park’s effort to conserve native species by reducing competition, predation, and hybridization by non-natives introduced to park waters decades ago,” said Dr. Todd Koel, the park’s lead fisheries biologist. “We’re asking anglers to assist us in our conservation efforts by harvesting non-native fishes from streams and lakes where they coexist with our native cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling. In these waters there is no question that the introduced, non-native species are continuing to do serious harm.”
The season generally opens Memorial Day weekend and runs through the first Sunday in November. Fishing permits are available at all ranger stations, visitor centers, and Yellowstone General Stores. Permits for those 16 and older are $18 for three days, $25 for seven days, and $40 for an annual permit. Younger anglers must fish with an adult who holds a valid permit or obtain a free fishing permit. No state fishing license is required to fish in the park. The fees generated from fishing permits stay in the park and go toward fisheries protection and management.
Find current information about season dates and regulations at the National Park Service website. www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/fishing.htm